CLEVELAND—Emeritus House has always been more than just a collection of housing units. Though the population it serves has undoubtedly changed over the years, the building’s impact on its community has been significant in a number of ways. And thanks to a substantial preservation effort by the Famicos Foundation, Emeritus House is poised to serve its community for years to come.
The nine-story historic landmark in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood has been the headquarters for the Phillis Wheatley Association (PWA) since it was built in 1926. The building originally served as transitional housing for African- American women migrating from the South, offering educational and job-training programs, as well as health care assistance.
Women continued to be the focus until the 1970s, when the building entered the Sec. 8 program. Today, the building provides housing for very low-income seniors and the disabled, as well as a range of community services.
The PWA provides a voucherbased day care program for lowincome families and a music school for area youth at Emeritus House, services that have become vital to the residents of the Central neighborhood. The association also provides a meals program, healthscreening services, and social programs geared toward the seniors inhabiting the building as well as those in the neighborhood at large.